Factors associated with a prolonged hospital stay during induction chemotherapy in newly diagnosed high risk pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Leuk Res. 2018 Aug;71:36-42. doi: 10.1016/j.leukres.2018.06.013. Epub 2018 Jun 30.


Background: High Risk (HR) or Very High Risk (VHR) acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) treated with 4 drug induction chemotherapy is often associated with adverse events. The aim of this study was to identify risk factors associated with a prolonged inpatient length of stay LOS during induction chemotherapy.

Procedure: Data from patients (N = 73) (age<21 years) was collected through a retrospective chart review. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression was used to test for statistical significance. The overall survival and disease (leukemia)-free survival were analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier method and log-rank test.

Results: Of the 73 patients, 42 (57%) patients were discharged on day 4 of induction (short LOS, group A), while 31 (43%) patients (group B) experienced a prolonged LOS or an ICU stay (16 ± 27.7 days, median hospital stay = 8 days vs 4 days (group A), p = 0.02) due to organ dysfunction, infectious or metabolic complications. Group B patients were more likely to have a lower platelet count, serum bicarbonate, and a higher blood urea nitrogen (BUN) on day 4 of treatment (OR = 4.52, 8.21, and 3.02, respectively, p < 0.05). Multivariable analysis identified low serum bicarbonate (p = 0.002) and a platelet count<20,000/μL (p = 0.02) on day 4 of induction to be predictive of a prolonged LOS. Twenty six (group A (n = 16, 36%) and B (n = 11, 35%), p = 0.8) patients experienced unplanned admissions, within 30 days of discharge.

Conclusions: A significant proportion of newly diagnosed HR or VHR pediatric ALL patients experience a prolonged LOS and unplanned re-admissions. Aggressive discharge planning and close follow up is indicated in this cohort of patients.

Keywords: Length-of-stay; Leukemia; Pediatric.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Induction Chemotherapy / adverse effects*
  • Induction Chemotherapy / methods
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / drug therapy*
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Antineoplastic Agents